Fiction and the American Literary Marketplace: The Role of Newspaper Syndicates in America, 1860-1900 / Edition 1

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Conventional literary history has virtually ignored the role of newspaper syndicates in publishing some of the most famous nineteenth-century writers. Henry James, Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain were among those who offered their early fiction to "Syndicates", firms that subsequently sold the work to newspapers across America for simultaneous, first-time publication. Charles Johanningsmeier shows how the economic practicalities of the syndicate system governed the consumption and interpretation of various literary texts. His study revises the conception of traditional literary history by examining the ordinary reader's response to some of the major writers of the nineteenth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Johanningsmeier's work is well written and documented....Recommended for upper-division students and scholars interested in literature and journalism in the second half of the 19th century." J.W. Parins, Choice

"For lucidity of writing and thoroughness and accuracy of research, this study deserves high praise. It will no doubt be an important resource for other scholars of publishing as well as for critics exploring the publishing histories of particular writers who published in syndicates. The book tackles the nitty-gritty details of negotiating procedures, forms of transport, and forms of technology that shaped the business." Nancy Glazener, American Literature

"...we can be grateful for this lively and judicious recall of a largely unappreciated aspect of the democratization of literary culture during the Gilded Age." Robert A. Colby, Publishing Reasearch Quarterly

"Fiction and the American Literary Marketplace provids and excellent, clearly written account of newspaper syndication that will constitute a basic work for subsequent scholarship on the American literary marketplace; that book should be of interest to anyone who studies the relationship of literature to periodical publication." Jeffrey D. Groves, Victorian Periodicals Review

"Charles Johanningsmeier's book sheds light on an obscure area of late-nineteenth-century textual distribution, that of newspaper syndicates." Ronald J. Zboray, American Historical Review

"Johanningsmeier has recovered a segment of the literary marketplace long misunderstood, denigrated, or simply ignored. This fine study demonstrates how slid business history illuminates American literary history." Scott E. Casper, The Journal of American History

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Newspaper syndicates of the late nineteenth century: overlooked forces in the American literary marketplace; 1. Preparing the way for the syndicates: a revolution in American fiction production, distribution, and readership, 1860–1900; 2. The pioneers: readyprint, plate service, and early galley-proof syndicates; 3. The heyday of American fiction syndication: Irvin Bacheller, S. S. McClure and other independent syndicators; 4. What literary syndicates represented to authors: saviours, doctors, or something in between?; 5. What price must authors pay? The negotiations between galley-proof syndicates and authors; 6. Pleasing the customers: the balance of power between syndicates and newspaper editors; 7. Readers' experiences with syndicated fiction; 8. The decline of the literary syndicates; Notes; Bibliography.

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